Thor Thor extols the motto “A stranger is a friend you haven't met yet.” Sorry but that's just a naive romantic claim. True, most people are not so bad and the world is not so dangerous as the news make it to be and politicians try to make us believe. (That portrayal just suits their interests, that's all. The former sells through sensation, the latter controls people through fear. I'm stating the obvious, we all know that, right? Anybody still left unawares of the manipulation tactics of the world or mechanisms of governing?!) However, the fact is, both claims at opposite ends are wrong. The media and governments are not right, Thor is not right either! There are all kinds of people in this world and no one group is either completely good or bad. How can that be? I don't understand what this either black or white view of the world is. Nor the need for it.
A stranger may be a friend you haven't met yet or s/he might be someone who wants to take advantage of you or even harm you. Then there are those strangers who become your friends, and they are your very good friends, indeed best friends for years, even decades; then, you get into a dispute over some issue, -all this time you have thought you were just so respectful of each other, being able to argue maturely with your different points of view- all this meanwhile you were self-righteously thinking how this is the way things should be and how the world would be so nice if everybody was like you, meaning you and your friend,- Then... Then a conflict of interest... A sudden, unseen, unpredictable circumstance... And this best friend stabs you in the back.
Where are you left now? Where is the friend? The friend who has become a stranger...
I do not like people, I have become a misanthrope over the years. Yet I still trust people when travelling. I believe most are good and wish to help you instead of abusing you when they realize you are a stranger. You are in foreign lands and they are the hosts. Most hosts are welcoming. People may mostly be good to you/us when we are travelling but it is also because we meet them for a short period of time. It takes time to get to know someone and you have to get into a conflict of interest in order to see the real face of someone. That's why you get into so many conflicts travelling or especially at sea: a small living space with shared responsibilities and unshared ways of thought catalyses the process and things end in disaster. It's a miracle that any relation between two people works smoothly for a long time.
When hosts realize that your visit is going to be longer, they turn hostile. As seen in the case of refugees and migrants. Refugees/Migrants are threats. Or rather, are seen as threats. Threats to well-being, threats to sharing resources. We want things for ourselves. It's not even only that. We want to preserve our beliefs. We shoot back at people who do not share our values. If you want to see the real face of people it only takes to scroll through some of the comments on youtube or any unedited portal. In such places, you get to clearly see the shittiness of humans. Let alone disputed issues, people puke their ire even for totally unimportant and subjective things like tastes. There are trolls and haters everywhere. That's what people really are. They are crap. We all are. I am too.: even though I consider myself much more decent than most people.
That nice smiling grandma who offers you tea and pastries, who looks after you like her own grandchild, she curses innocent children just because they are Kurdish. That man who is so kind to his son, who takes you out sightseeing, who buys you a meal and refuses to be paid, he is a hard core nationalist who is ready to kill someone just because of his identity. That beautiful young lady with small children, that vegetarian who is full of love of animals is also full of hatred for non-Christians or gays or whatever you name it; she sometimes even wishes them dead. These people are our grandmothers, our mothers, our brothers. They are us. Us who belong to humankind with all its idiosyncrasies, foibles, limitations and failings. We are both friends and enemies. To others and to ourselves as well.
Important PS: Please stay away from un-sensible generalizations and reflect a more truthful view of the world we live in. Thanks.